Earlier this week, the UK government approved off road testing of wireless charging for electric vehicles on highways, what they are calling “electric highways”. The trials, which are expected to begin later this year, will last for approximately 18 months, and if successful, could lead to road trials.
According to Highways England officials, the initiative is not an alternative to charging stations, the agency is still committed to installing stations every 20 miles on the motorway network.
During the trials, they will test the hardware installed on the vehicles and the wireless technology installed underneath the road, to replicate motorway conditions.
In a press release, Transport Minister Andrew Jones had this to say about the announcement:
The potential to recharge low emission vehicles on the move offers exciting possibilities. The government is already committing £500 million over the next five years to keep Britain at the forefront of this technology, which will help boost jobs and growth in the sector. As this study shows, we continue to explore options on how to improve journeys and make low-emission vehicles accessible to families and businesses.
He is referring to the feasibility study that prompted the off road trials. You can access the full study here on Highways England’s website.
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Are there any cars supporting this technology?
There’s hardware to install on the cars as a retrofit. Though I assume not all cars can accommodate the retrofit. No information on which in particular yet.